Quitting refined sugar can be tough. But given how incredibly harmful sugar can be, it’s definitely worth the effort.
Luckily, there are quite a few sweeteners found in nature that are made available in a ready-to-use format that can support you on your positive health transition.
These sweeteners are low in calories, low in fructose and taste very sweet. So for the self-confessed sweet tooth person, these sweeteners make for an excellent alternative or to assist in the transition of craving sweet foods.
Lets us share our suggestions…
Stevia is a very popular low-calorie sweetener.
It’s extracted from the leaves of a plant called Stevia rebaudiana. This plant has been grown for sweetness and medicinal purposes for centuries in South America. It is not currently commercially grown in Australia. Therefore stockists need to import it in and it can be quite pricey, but possibly the best of the best.
Several sweet compounds are found in stevia leaves. The main ones are stevioside and rebaudioside A. Both are hundreds of times sweeter than sugar, gram for gram, therefore when using stevia, often only a small quantity is required.
Stevia is very sweet but has virtually no calories.
Suggested health benefits of Stevia:
- Assist in lowering of blood pressure in people with hypertension.
- Support the lowering of blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
- Help in the improvement of insulin sensitivity.
Tasty ways to use Stevia include:
- in coffee or tea
- sprinkled on hot or cold low carb cereal options
- in a smoothie
- sprinkled on unsweetened yogurt
Explore our recommended Stevia option – Here
Erythritol is another low-calorie sweetener.
It contains 0.24 calories per gram, or about 6% of the calories in an equal amount of sugar, with 70% of the sweetness.
Erythritol doesn’t spike blood sugar or insulin levels and has no effect on blood lipids like cholesterol or triglycerides
It’s absorbed into the body from the intestine but eventually excreted from the kidneys unchanged.
Studies show that erythritol is very safe. However, as with other sugar alcohols, it can cause digestive issues if you consume too much at a time
Erythritol tastes very much like sugar, although it can have a mild aftertaste.
Although erythritol doesn’t seem to have any suggested health benefits, it certainly doesn’t appear to be harmful in any way and is better tolerated than most other sugar alcohols.
Uses for Erythritol are much the same as Stevia.
It contains 2.4 calories per gram, or about two-thirds of the caloric value of sugar.
Xylitol appears to have some benefits for dental health, reducing the risk of cavities and dental decay
It may also improve bone density in rats, helping to prevent osteoporosis
Xylitol doesn’t raise blood sugar or insulin levels. However, as with other sugar alcohols, it can cause digestive side effects at high doses
If you have a dog at home, you might want to keep xylitol out of its reach since it’s highly toxic to dogs